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axtine8

Sharing Faith and Courage: An Accutane Log

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I was wondering how long are you suppose to take accutane? Do you take it for just a few months and then your acne is gone for good? Or do you have to continually use it?

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Day 43 (beginning of week 7)

Hi all!

I'm back! I wanted to see how long I could go without thinking about my face 24/7. So that includes staying away from acne.org. I get a lot of support here, but (at least for me) it's very easy to start obsessing. I will not abandon this log though! I promise! :)

I’m just about halfway through my second month on Accutane! Things have been up and down the past few weeks. Some days I’m thrilled because it looks like my acne is going into remission and then BOOM! It comes back. Grr… It’s frustrating, but I’m less than 50 days into it. I don’t think I’ve given it a fair shot at all. No worries about quitting it though. This darn medication is all I have going for me right now, so if I stop I’ll have nothing. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing.

Though I might have to stop if my LDL (aka ‘bad’ cholesterol) keeps going up. My mom got the letter about my blood results from my test on the 21st last night. It said that everything was in the acceptable range, but that my LDL levels had increased since my initial blood test. So, they told me to stop eating red meat. Only problem is, I don’t really eat red meat. I just do fish, pretty much. I had my first serving of red meat in two months a couple nights ago. So, I won’t be eating it anymore, but I’m still worried! I don’t feel like I have any control over it, since the one thing they told me to stop doing, I don’t even do!!! AHHHHHHH, if I have to stop Accutane, I will be so angry. Like I said, it’s the only thing I have going for me, and if I stop it, I will be in one of the biggest ruts of my life.

Good news about side effects though: for the first few days after my first month’s checkup, my back pain skyrocketed (that’s not the good news. Obviously. haha). I was freaked out because I had JUST told the nurse that the back pain was manageable but now it was keeping me up at night. So, around the 23rd or the 24th, I took two acetaminophen tablets, and the pain never came back. My back feels a little tight sometimes, especially when I lie down or bend over to blow dry my hair, but it feels better than it did during the first month. I know it’s not the pain meds, because those only stay in your system for 24 hours, but something had to have happened because I don’t feel like I have any side effects at all. My dry lips aren’t noticeable, though I can feel them. I apply aquaphor to them about 2 or 3 times a day, and that’s all I need. The skin on my face isn’t dry AT ALL. Not even a little bit. I credit CeraVe, because the rest of my body looks a little dry sometimes. I don’t even get sunburned. Sure, I wear SPF 50 every day, but I’ve read that some people get sunburned no matter how much sunblock they put on.

I did experience a new side effect the morning that I had heard about before. After I took my morning pill around 9:30, my heart started racing. I felt like I do when I’m cooling down from a run. I just sat down and drank a bottle of water, and it was gone in two minutes. No big deal. Other than these effects that I’ve mentioned, I have nothing. Not even the other things I put in my list a few pages back. Here’s hoping it stays this way. It doesn’t even feel like I’m on an extreme medication at all…

Anyway, things should be shaping up here pretty soon. I start my third month in 19 days, and then I fully expect Accutane to keep its end of the deal. But even if I don’t start to clear up in less than a month, I know it’s just a matter of time, because hardly any acne is immune to the wonderful powers of isotretinoin.

And on a completely non-acne-related topic, my boyfriend will be home tomorrow! Words cannot describe how happy I am! I haven't seen him since January 21st, 2010--he was studying abroad in Denmark until May, and then he took a few months off to travel, that lucky duck. Anyhoo, just thought I'd let you all know how completely excited I am. Because I really, really, most certainly am. :):):)

I’ll update you all soon! Love you all lots, and stay strong!

Amy

vintagelover: of COURSE I will read your log! I plan on checking up on everyone later tonight when I leave work. I can't wait to read it! :)

hope: I am just fine! Skin's not any better, but by shifting my focus, things have become just a little better. ANd it really helps to know that I probably have less than a few months left to deal with this.

hello2023: good luck with your internship! that's what I'm doing over the summer as well. Yes, roommates are awesome, as long as you get the good ones. I have great ones this summer. None of us are obnoxious, we all clean and we get along! But bad roommates can ruin a whole year. I speak from experience. :(

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I just wrote so much and my internet freaked and i lost it :(

but i'm gonna try to write it again

I can relate to you so much! haha, first of all i get so obsessed too! that's all i think about it's so annoying i swear i wake up and i think about my face it's so horrible i hate it, i hate going out because i feel everyone is noticing it but at least i forget about it because i home that's all i think about, i think all my internet history includes acne haha

i can also relate on feeling happy because acne is gone and feel so happy and then in a couple of days cysts come out of nowhere! it's so annoying, this has been the story of my life all this year :( i hope accutane makes this story end haha

also on not being dry, my face is not dry, maybe a little but as much as before accutane, my arms are a bit dry but it's not drastic

and when you said you had back pain i remember today when i sat to listen to my annoying teacher for 3 hours my back started to hurt and it didn't happen before, maybe it's the accutane, and my eyes have been dry, i think it's because the tane just got into my body or something hahah

and glad your boyfriends back! keep posting! i love reading your log, good luck and we are on our way to clear skin haha :D

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Hey, I read most your log. I was thinking about taking Accutane too, but I want to start right after winter ends. I'm sure you know how horrible the winters in Utah are. I don't know if I could handle getting sick while on Accutane. But anyways, it's cool to read your progress and everything. I'm sure everything will work out for you.

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Have a fabulous time with your boyfriend!!

I've been in a long distance relationship for 4.5 years and I know how hard it can be at times. Is he home for good now?

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Amy, I hear you about being up and down. But since you are where you are in your course, you should the see the ups continue longer, and the downs getting shorter. I hope so anyway.

I love your writing style. Keeps your log very interesting.

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vintagelover:ahh, i hate it when that sort of thing happens! I've lost many a facebook rant due to my school's sketchy internet! haha Speaking of your face and moisturizer, have you tried CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion? It's ridiculously awesome, and I'll continue to use it even after I'm off Accutane. Maybe that would do the trick for your sensitive skin. I know what you mean about finding the right moisturizer. I used Dan's lotion for the longest time. After I stopped using it, my face stopped looking sunburned. I found out through trial and error that I'm allergic to jojoba oil. Go figure.

taluce: thanks for stopping by! It always makes me happy when new people comment on my blog. :) I completely understand about the whole winter thing. Utah winters can be very brutal, which is why I'm glad that I'll be finishing up right before the worst weather kicks in around December and January. But I'm so desperate for progress that I would probably take it even if it was during winter!

Angela: Long time no see! :) My next stops are your/Hope's logs for sure! And I will have a fantastic time today. I'm picking him up from the airport in a few hours! It's been roughly 200 days since we last saw each other... you'd think these next few hours wouldn't be killing me but they are. haha He will not be leaving any time soon, because he's spent so much time away from home. When he was 19, he went on a two year LDS mission to South Africa (I first met him when he returned). He was only home a year before he went to Europe for seven months. Now he pretty much just wants to stay in Utah and go to school. But I can't imagine 4.5 years! How often do you guys get to see each other?

goodz19: Thanks for the words of support. Sometimes it is hard to keep my faith up, but I keep reading about all the success people here have had and it makes me feel a lot better. I hope you're having a better time, too! In a couple of months, we'll be able to look back on this time and just laugh, and be glad that it's in the past. I can't wait. :)

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Hi Amy!

I am glad I made your todo list :)

I also know all about long distance relationships... Me and my now husband are in the Air Force, I am stationed in England and he is stationed in Las Vegas. We met here about 2 years ago, dated for a year, he moved to Las Vegas, dated for another year and then JUST got married back in Jun 19th!, I havent seen him since :( we have seen each other about every 4 months or so since he left... ahhhhhh. However, I am kind of glad I am getting my course done at this time, he doesnt have to deal with my "issues" at the moment.

Anyways, enough about me! HAVE FUN with your sweety!

Edited by hop3

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My boyfriend and I met in university. We started dating in Febuary and he graduated that June, so I had one more year away at school while he moved back home. So that was year 1 apart... then I graduated and moved home and he decided he wanted to go to law school, so he moved to Michigan for the 3 year program. He is completing one last course in Japan right now and will be home on August 14th. I cant believe he is finally coming home for good-- It doesn't feel real, but I am so happy! Long distance is hard...

We saw each other once every 1-2 months...maybe 3-4 days at a time -- usually long weekends. Since Thanksgiving is a different weekend in the US, I would usually go visit him then for sure and then we'd basically just take the rest of the year day by day. He didnt have a car, so it took him almost 14 hours by greyhound to get to toronto (so ridiculous), so I would usually end up doing the 5 hour trek down to Michigan. I didnt mind though..I really loved going to visit him :)

hop3, I'm sorry to read that you and your new hubby are long distance --that must be so tough

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Hey amy, it's funny you should mention that thing about your heart, because i've noticed since being on tane my heart goes MUCH faster at the gym! So fast that I can almost feel it beating up in my throat, its so weird! I also get tired so much quicker. I hope this isn't anything to do with cholestrol! Anyway, I know what you mean about the ups and downs. When I was on antibiotics (particularly lymecycline which i was on recently that did NOTHING! :() I remember being soo happy my skin was clearing up, then i'd wake up in the morning and feel 4 or so new cysts and was so gutted I was wrong about my skin 'clearing up'... Horrible feeling, but accutane works for so many people, it's only a matter of time for you now! :) Hang on in there, you've got arguably the hardest month out of way already!

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Day 48

Wow, I can’t believe that I’m almost 2/3 done with my second month on Accutane! I wouldn’t go so far as to say that time has flown by, but it’s definitely gone by quicker than I thought it would. I did a quick calculation just now, and I found out that I’ve consumed approximately 93 pills since the evening of June 21—is that OCD or what? Haha But it definitely doesn’t seem like I’ve taken that many.

Things are ok, skin-wise. I am bumpy/red all over, but I’m mentally exhausted from caring so much for the past 6 months that I’m not as bothered as I used to be. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the worst of my IBs are done. At first I was worried, because I’m beginning week 8 on Monday and I haven’t seen any remarkable progress. But after some extensive internet searches for week-by-week Accutane picture logs, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am neither immune to Isotretinoin nor an abnormal case because most people don’t have visible improvements (it seems like) until weeks 12 -15. What I am is incredibly impatient. :rolleyes:

And I know they say not to use topicals while on Accutane, but I’ve smidged on that one. I’ve spot treated cysts occasionally using BP 2.5%, and I’ve been doing nightly aspirin masks with honey. I figure I can do this sort of thing because my skin is not dry in the slightest. I mean AT ALL. Besides sensitivity and being prone to extra redness, my face doesn’t show any signs of being on Accutane. The aspirin masks help so much, and I highly recommend them. I bought regular, white aspirin. They are non coated, unlike specialty brands like bayer. I soften them with drops of warm water until they break apart and dissolve into a paste. Then, I mix it with a bit of honey and apply it all over my face. I leave it on for about an hour at night, while I’m either doing computer stuff or watching TV. The difference in my skin is amazing, and I recommend it to everyone. I know I shouldn’t be using it every night, but it’s only a temporary thing until my face decides it wants to stop delivering ugly cysts every night while I sleep. This keeps them at bay--only a couple ever manage to break through.

I never had acne issues on my chest or back, aside from the odd, regular non-cystic pimple. But I always had a lot of blackheads and clogged pores on my shoulders. You couldn’t see them just by looking, but I could feel them. Now my back, shoulders and chest are entirely smooth. So that’s a good sign! :cool:

Hmmm, as far as side effects go, things are pretty mild. Sometimes my arms and legs get itchy when I step out of the shower. The bloody noses only happen once every couple days now. I am also getting random eczema patches. I don’t get them on my hands. Instead, they can be found near my elbows and on the backs of my calves. Aquaphor fixes them in 48 hours, so they never bother me too much. My back pain is nonexistent. I keep waiting for joint or muscle pain but none has arrived yet, but I’m still hesitant to start running again. Why tempt fate, right? The dry lips are still there, but no one can tell. My mom was asking me why my lips aren’t dry and she didn’t believe me when I told her they were. They do sometimes get to be a funny-looking fuchsia color, so it looks like I’m wearing rad 80’s lipstick. :lol: So basically, things are tolerable here on the home front. I’ve found that as long as I don’t think too hard about what I look like, and just focus on doing the things I like and being with the people I love, my life is the best it’s been since February. I pray that it will only go uphill from here.

On a personal note, I’m going out tonight for the first time in ages! My boyfriend’s sister got married, and we’re headed to her reception in Salt Lake tonight. There will be lots of laughter, food and dancing. Plus, I will be with some of my most favorite people in the world and that is always good for lifting the spirits.

Hang in there, you guys!

Amy

Hope: I can't believe you guys live in separate countries! :( I don't know how I would cope with that after just getting married. It was hard enough being away from Jack, and we're not even married! When will you guys be able to live together?

Angela: That is real dedication, and I admire you so much for it! Even though it's really hard, the relationships that do make it through the distance are so much stronger for it. When you can still love someone even though they're many miles away, that's how you know the love is real and you're not being blinded. Sometimes, I think it should be mandatory for every long term relationship to be tested with distance. haha

gwennybear: I understand you completely. And I really, really, really hope you're right about almost being done with the hardest month! I'm just ready for the 'downhill' part of this medication, because everything has seemed like such a steep mountain so far!

Edited by axtine8

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Oh Amy, I still have until August next year before we can actually move in together... it really sucks! However, he is coming in October for my bday :) I cant wait!!!

I have heard about aspirine masks a lot, and I have always been hesitant to try them... I am one of those unlucky people allergic to all the goodies, to include aspirine, motrin, aleve,... i know... I am weird!

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I'm glad you are almost done with your second month! third month is the month everyone waits for haha :) and it's good you are going out i hope you had fun! tell us how that was haha

now let's hope this IB goes away soon! :)

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Yay for you! It sounds like things are going good even though you may not be seeing the results like you hope for. I was in the boat, and it was actually right around day 50 for me when I saw some minor improvement for the first time. It wasnt dramatic or anything, but small progress is good too. You'll get there. You're past the hardest part, so it should start showing. Hope you had a great weekend!

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Day 52

Skin is looking just a little bit better, but it comes and goes in cycles so I'm not incredibly optimistic. Something tells me I still have a few more breakouts to weather through until things clear up for good.

I'm just a little depressed today. For all the improvement I've made, this thing is still running my life. Case in point:

1) one of my best friends from college tells me that because we didn't go camping last fall semester, we simply have to sometime in September or October. I do some quick 'math:' camping = rural. Rural = no makeup. No makeup = no camping. So I give a completely ambivalent answer, and I can tell it hurt her feelings because she doesn't know where all my enthusiasm went. She'll probably think she did something to make me so neutral in the matter. I could see it in her eyes.

2) I almost didn't show up yesterday to the photo shoot for my sister's bridal pictures because I was having a bad skin day. I didn't want to be in any close ups, regardless of how well the photographer is well-versed in PhotoShop. My selfishness only extended so far, because OF COURSE I went. But my whole family could see my reluctance and I got flak for that.

3) my ward wanted to take a group of us to do temple work before the semester starts and everyone gets bogged down with school. I politely declined-- the official reasoning being work. Yeah, I had to work. But it's not my priority. I've missed work before to go to the temple, this should have been no different. Me being the selfish child that I am, I just didn't want to get completely wet when we did the baptisms. This is the one that bothers me the most. If the question to go wasn't sprung on me suddenly and I had the time to think it over, I'm positive I would have said yes, but I wasn't prepared so I let something as little as acne get in the way of something so important to me.

This whole deal with my skin has made me realize how incredibly selfish I am. It's said that we find out who we truly are when we are dealing with problems, so this makes me wonder how strong I really am. What if something truly tragic happens? What if I get into a car accident, or I get cancer? How would I deal with those? :( I don't like to question myself.

I guess this is just something I have to work on, then. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow (er, today? It's like 12:30 am).

I'll talk to you all soon, over and out

Amy

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Your points really hit home w/ me. Ive passed up so many opportunities, and also times when I was needed, because of how I was looking. Is it selfish? Maybe. But I dont think its any different than having a disease and just not feeling up to snuff sometimes. If you had IBS and couldnt get off the pot, would you feel less guilty? This disease is as much a physical condition as it is a mental one. There are good and bad days. Its unfortunate that we put ourselves in the position to choose between doing and not doing based on our face, but the mental portion is most important. Its hard to be accommodating and loving to others when you are not happy w/ yourself. Once you (and I) can overcome those ill feelings we have for ourselves, then we can begin to be less selfish, if thats the term we are using. I hear ya about questioning yourself about how strong you really are. I guess Im a big puss when I cant even handle going to the store when Im all broke out. I think there are 2 options: be happy w/ yourself and who you are and not let it bother you (cliche) or work on getting rid of this disease, or at least making it manageable enough, so that you can be yourself all the time, w/o looking over your shoulder. You're doing B now. Once YOU start feeling better about yourself, everything else will fall in line. Dont beat yourself about it. Its ok to feel sad and angry sometimes about whats happening to you. The meds will get you there soon :)

Edited by goodz19

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I think this post hits home for quite a few of us on Accutane. I remember in my first month declining getting photos done for the church directory. That in turn made my parents decline on getting family pictures done because it would look odd with one child missing. I feel terrible now, but my my heart just was not in it then. Also, I gave up on playing softball this summer ( I have played since I was 5) because I did not want to go out without makeup or wear lots of makeup and have it all sweat off. If I could go back and tell myself then what I know now, I would like to think I would have behaved differently. Maybe give myself a swift kick in the butt. But emotions can be pretty heavy things and if your heart is just not in to something, it can be so hard to push yourself to go.

I hope that in the next month you see a big change. I like to call Month 3, the magic month! :)

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I can completely understand this too. A friend of mine asked me to go away for a few nights somewhere and I just made excuses so not to go. Its awful. I hate it. in the last 10 months, I have not been out drinking or for an evening meal with my friends once (exception my sisters hen night for which I was in attendance for one hour before I fainted and went home). Even on the nights were my skin has looked ok, I have felt so insecure about my looks that I'd rather stay in. I like being in my comfort zone, which is at home, no makeup and nobody to see me!

So I'm hoping that will all change soon. Its strange but a year ago I never would have questioned going camping or staying over in someones house. Now that is out of the question. Even tho I know none of my friends would judge me based on my appearance but it is all about confidence and right now, I have none!

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Hi amy, i can relate to you a lot, i am the same, i don't go anywhere where i have to not wear makeup, it makes me sad because i have do ditch a lot of people, and for what? for nothing, to say at home and worry about my skin, i lost an important assignment for not going to school cause of acne, i say i don't wanna go swimming with my skin or to the beach with my friends because, water=acne for me :( it's sad

but don't feel bad, i know it sucks but, if you are seeing improvement that means it's getting better so in a few months you won't have acne and you can do anything acne is stopping you to do it, and you are not selfish, a lot of us are like that too, it's just this is a lot more psychological than it is physical, it affects a lot, i think i will be so unstoppable when i don't have acne, haha, but oh well, right now i do, and the good thing is, we will remember this as something hard we had to go through and it will make us better persons.

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Day 53

Aww thanks for all the responses, guys! :) I went on for just a little rant and I got a lot of support. It really made my day.

And boy, does my day need to get a little better. I'm still not sure whether this is tragic or hilarious (ergo, whether to cry or to laugh), because stuff like this only happens in the movies, I swear! When I was at work this afternoon, I had to go into a storage room to grab something. It was really dark because the light had burned out, but I decided to be brilliant and go in anyway because I knew where the thing I was looking for was. So I tripped over a stack of boxes which caused me to fumble blindly as I fell forward, landing me on a cart which spun and flung me into an unfinished set piece. About eight or nine old nails were sticking out of the bottom of it, unbeknownst to me. I didn't know how badly I was hurt until I managed to find my way out. While I was making my way to the bathroom to assess the damage, my friend started freaking out and told me that my whole back was bloody. My shirt didn't even look yellow anymore, that's how much I bled. So basically, I spent the next couple of hours in the ER getting every preventative shot known to man, and then some. Some other painful crap went down, I can't really be sure what exactly happened, because they had to numb parts of my back. Now, the soreness from the bruising is kicking in, and the bandages are really itchy. I am in kind of a bad mood, but who wouldn't be after falling against a board with rusty nails? I guess the only good thing is that I'm effectively excused from work until the semester starts, seeing as I was planning on going home sometime next week for the remainder of the summer until classes start on the 30th.

So... yup. That has been my day. It was pretty memorable.

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Day 53

Aww thanks for all the responses, guys! :) I went on for just a little rant and I got a lot of support. It really made my day.

And boy, does my day need to get a little better. I'm still not sure whether this is tragic or hilarious (ergo, whether to cry or to laugh), because stuff like this only happens in the movies, I swear! When I was at work this afternoon, I had to go into a storage room to grab something. It was really dark because the light had burned out, but I decided to be brilliant and go in anyway because I knew where the thing I was looking for was. So I tripped over a stack of boxes which caused me to fumble blindly as I fell forward, landing me on a cart which spun and flung me into an unfinished set piece. About eight or nine old nails were sticking out of the bottom of it, unbeknownst to me. I didn't know how badly I was hurt until I managed to find my way out. While I was making my way to the bathroom to assess the damage, my friend started freaking out and told me that my whole back was bloody. My shirt didn't even look yellow anymore, that's how much I bled. So basically, I spent the next couple of hours in the ER getting every preventative shot known to man, and then some. Some other painful crap went down, I can't really be sure what exactly happened, because they had to numb parts of my back. Now, the soreness from the bruising is kicking in, and the bandages are really itchy. I am in kind of a bad mood, but who wouldn't be after falling against a board with rusty nails? I guess the only good thing is that I'm effectively excused from work until the semester starts, seeing as I was planning on going home sometime next week for the remainder of the summer until classes start on the 30th.

So... yup. That has been my day. It was pretty memorable.

OUCH.....

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